BRUSSELS – Belgians officials say six more people have been brought in for questioning and seven searches carried out in connection with a suspected plot to stage extremist attacks over the holidays.
The Federal Prosecutor’s Office said Thursday the police searches were executed in the morning in various Brussels-area locations. It said a magistrate will decide whether arrest warrants should be issued against six people brought in for questioning.
Two men have already been arrested in connection with the suspected plot, both members of a motorcycle club. On Thursday, a judge ordered them held for another month.
A Belgian judge on Thursday delivered an arrest warrant against a 10th suspect in the Paris attacks probe, charging him with terrorist murder and participation in the activities of a terrorist group.
The man arrested, a Belgian national born in 1993 and identified only as Ayoub B., was detained Wednesday following a search in the Molenbeek neighbourhood of Brussels, where some of the Paris attackers lived, including suspected ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud.
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The residence targeted, on Molenbeek’s Rue Delaunoy, was also raided three days after the Nov. 13 attacks by police searching for suspect Salah Abdeslam, who is believed to have acted as logistician for the attacks and remains a fugitive. Abdeslam’s brother Brahim was one of the suicide bombers in Paris.
In a statement, the Belgian Federal Prosecutor’s Office said no weapons or explosives were found in Wednesday’s search, but that “about 10 cellphones” were seized and are being examined.
The prosecutor’s office provided no further details, but French police reports cited by the Le Monde newspaper have said the Paris attackers were in cellphone contact with two numbers in Belgium during the night of the killings, in which 130 people lost their lives.
Le Monde said the police reports show the attacks were orchestrated or at least closely monitored, in real time, from Belgium.
Ayoub B., the 10th person arrested in Belgium in connection with the Paris carnage, is to appear before another judge within five days, the prosecutor’s office said. That judge will decide whether he should continue to be held in preventive detention.
© 2015 The Associated Press